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|Sanskrit Transliteration||विष्णु माया|
Vishnumaya or Chattan is a non-Sanskritic deity that is popular among low-status castes in central Kerala.
According to Hindu mythology Shiva while on a hunt happened to hear a sweet voice in the jungle. He was surprised to find that it belonged to a tribal girl, "Koolivaka" (Pronounced as Koolivaaka) - a girl of immense beauty. The solitude in that forest area called Koolivanam, and the wild beauty of the forest girl, made the Lord lustful. He informed Koolivaka of his wish and told her to wait for him until he returned from his hunt
Koolivaka, who was a devotee of Parvati realized that mating with lord would bring forth the wrath of the goddess upon her; but she feared the wrath of Shiva also in case she refused him. She prayed to her Goddess to save her from the predicament. Devi (goddess) pleased with her innocence appeared before her and revealed her true identity. In her previous birth Koolivaka was Mansawini, a servant in the retinue of Parvati. One day she happened to breast-feed Ganesha who was a baby at that time. Parvati didn’t appreciate the fact of a servant breast-feeding her baby. She cursed Manaswini that she would be born in a chandala(outcaste)family. When Parvati's anger subdued, she took pity on Manaswini. Devi Parvati blessed her that although she be born as a chandala she would get the opportunity to breast-feed the son of Shiva.
Devi disclosed that it was the pre-ordained fate that made possible her meeting with Lord Shiva and his passion for Koolivaka. She told the girl that she herself would take on the form of Koolivaka and deceive the Lord Shiva. She also informed Koolivaka that the son born from such a union would be the killer of Jalandhara, a powerful Asura. Thus revealing the course of fate, she sent the innocent girl away.
The pseudo Koolivaka started swinging on a creeper attached to a jackfruit tree and waited for the arrival of Lord Shiva. A child with divine power was born through their union. Lord Shiva arranged a buffalo for the protection of the child. This divine child who came to be known as Chattan was given to Koolivaka for rearing. Koolivaka thus became the mother of Chattan, son of Lord Shiva fulfilling the boon of Parvati.
Chattan lived with Koolivaka for about seven years. The tribals loved the boy who saved them from many dangers. He roamed the jungle riding his buffalo and playing a musical instrument known as "Ezhara".
On his seventh birthday, the tribals held a feast in his honour. During the feast the sage, Narada manifested himself. He revealed to Chattan the secret of his birth. Moreover Narada advised Chattan to visit his true parents in Kailasa. He also told Chattan the true purpose of his birth.
Chattan started his journey to Kailasam with the permission of his foster mother and friends. He rode on his buffalo to Kailasam. When he was about to reach Kailasam he realized that Nandikeshwara would not allow him to enter Kailash in his present form. So he took the form of Lord Vishnu. On seeing their son, Shiva and Parvati were very happy and hugged their son. Lord Shiva blessed him saying, "You invoked the form of Vishnu by Maya(magic). So you will be known as Vishnu Maya". Moreover, he taught him the art of warfare and the secrets to kill Jalandhara(an asura who had been harassing the Devas).
Jalandhara was an asura who had got a boon from Indra and he was terrorizing the three worlds (Heaven, Pathala (Nether World) and Earth). Chattan challenged him to battle. After a fierce battle, Chattan took the form of Sudarsana Chakra with his Maya to behead Jlalandhara. Sensing danger, he escaped and hid himself in the seas. Chattan as Chakra followed him. Due to the heat of the fiercely revolving Chakra the water where Jalandhar was hiding started to boil. Unable to bear the heat, Jalndhara came out and he was promptly beheaded. Thus came the end of Jalandhara. With the killing of Jalandhara, the power of Chattan was recognized by the Devas. Indra invited him to Heaven. But Chattan declined the offer saying that his place was among the poor people who needed his protection. Chattan returned to his own people.
Another powerful Asura called Briga saw Koolivaka in the forest and wanted to take her as his wife. He had come with a large force and tried to capture her. Chattan along with his trusted follower, "Karinkutty" resisted the attack. Chattan was injured in the conflict. From the blood that fell on the ground, there arose 400 "Kuttiuchattan"s. Sensing his immediate defeat, Briga used ten Brahmastras against Chattan, ten Kuttichattans valiantly swallowed the weapon and gave up their life. The remaining 390 Kuttichattans defeated the army while Chattan killed Briga with his Kuruvadi (short Stick).